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We’re all fat!

February 16, 2012

It did not begin as a conversation about food, though you should know the previous night’s conversation was indeed about the history of preservatives in our country and why our nation has a weight problem  (I do no intentionally brain wash them!)

I guess it began because I had just finished Deborah Ellis’ The Breadwinner  and it was fresh, needing to be discussed. A book found as a result of a new class I’m designing for this summer- World Cultures. We’re going to “dive into difference” because I believe that most of our world conflict stems from fearing differences. The Breadwinner is a juvenile fiction account of a very real story during the Taliban era of Afghanistan. The protagonist is a young girl forced to pretend to be a boy so she can earn money when her father is purposelessly imprisoned.

(I am imagining a wonderful month of classes for 5-8th graders that is part book club, part cooking class, with some dance, art, and a field trip to a local Afghan restaurant. Month two will be Ethiopia!)

Of course, I had to share some of the stories of this girl which included a few of my well placed opinions about the Taliban. My quick 5 year old scrunches up her nose and asks incredulously, “Why do countries go to war? Don’t they want new friends?” This gave my equally quick husband an opening to make it personal.

“You know guys, there are wars happening all around the world every day. There are wars happening in Fort Collins. There were many just today.”

We were all confused. I admit I had no idea where he was going.

“All wars are a result of people fighting, of not agreeing with each other. He hit me! He got in my space! She’s not sharing!”

And we get it… a snicker goes around the table. Our home is often a battlefield.

“People are just people. The same war that is in our hearts towards one another is in theirs too. Countries fight over land, over not agreeing, over bugging each other, over having something they want.”

And then Sophie offers the classic Americentric comment (which we’ll work on, but she is just 5): “I just wish all countries could be like America.”

To which Ella responds, “No! We’re all fat!”

(Actually, I believe Kuwaitis are the fattest people on Earth, which I had to say and that lead to a fun night of world map quizzing!)

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